If everything about you changes, what remains?
Seventeen year-old Ruby, long-pledged to the much older Stiles from the Fireseed desert cult, escapes with only a change of clothes, a pouch of Oblivion Powder and her mute little brother, Thorn. Arriving at The Greening, a boarding school for orphaned teens, she can finally stop running. Or can she? The Greening is not what it seems. Students are rampaging out of control and as she cares for the secret Fireseed crop, she experiences frightening physical changes.
She's ashamed of her attraction to burly, hard-talking Blane, the resident bodyguard, and wonders why she can't be happy with the gentler Armonk. She considers her great beauty a liability, a thing she's misused in order to survive. But how is she to stop her dependence on Oblivion to find a real beauty within, using her talent as a maker of salves, when she has nightmares of Stiles without it?
When George Axiom, wealthy mogul of Vegas-by-the-Sea offers a huge cash prize for the winner of a contest, Ruby is hopeful she might collect the prize to rescue her family and friends from what she now knows is a dangerous cult. Yet, when Stiles comes to reclaim her, and Thorn sickens after creating the most astonishing contest project of all, the world Ruby knows is changed forever. This romantic fantasy is set in 2099 on earth.